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Digitization, e-governance: On the path to failure or success?

Zafar Bhat. Dated: 6/7/2018 11:59:44 AM

Zafar Bhat
Jammu, June 6
Categorically, in the current information age, Information Communication Technology (ICT), with its enabling, facilitating and wealth creating potential, is described as a panacea for many ills of the society and it has indeed revolutionized many facets of life at multiple levels in a globalized, interconnected world. With its ability to transcend geo-political borders, time zones, censorships and its characteristic of community-based horizontal spread, anonymity, egalitarian nature, democratic functioning, relative affordability, speed and 24/7 availability, it has become a powerful enabler to enhance the quality of life.
But in Jammu and Kashmir none of these enabling qualities of the ICT can be useful if people do not have access to this technology and do not have the knowledge as to how to use the technology to their benefit.
Hence, in J&K, digital divide, digital access, and digital illiteracy have become one of the key debates in the bigger questions in developmental policies that need deeper attention and community-based solutions.
Whereas, In Jammu and Kashmir some ten years back the bugle was sounded that e-governance is going to be ushered all around, but despite much talk, nothing is seen on the ground. Majority of the websites of the government departments are hardly updated regularly and do not contain much fruitful information for the masses. E-governance is a right initiative to ensure prompt service delivery. It is also needed to bring transparency and responsiveness in the administration to attend the needs of people on development count. However, Digital India vision is going to be imperative to propel the country into its next phase of growth. Conditionally, when the government will try to connect remote areas/ villages via high-speed Internet services to digitally empower people it has to deal with multiple issues
The demand side of digital in a J&K is a no-brainer but it is the supply side management and operating model of the proposed transformation that requires thoughtful planning and phased implementation to ensure that the impact is as immense as envisaged. What have been the efforts by the government on this?

 

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